Geoscience Australia celebrates Canberra's Centenary


Photograph of Lake Burley Griffin
taken in October 1963 from near
Blundell's Cottage, showing the
floodplain of the Molonglo River
and the built lake foreshores. In the
background is the completed Kings
Avenue Bridge, with Mount Mugga in the
distance. Photographer: Gerald Burton.

A new foyer display has opened featuring historical information, objects and images which highlight the significant role Geoscience Australia's predecessor organisations played in the establishment of the Australian Capital Territory.

Geoscience Australia's history dates back almost to Federation when in 1901 it was decided to set aside land for the national capital. This decision led to the establishment of the Australian Survey Office in 1910, when surveying began for the Australian Capital Territory lead by New South Wales surveyor Charles Scrivener.

The display, "Establishing the ACT: From the ground up", features a range of original or replica surveying maps, photographs and historical equipment used for surveying. Photographs featured in Now and Then, give a pictorial history of how the nation's capital has changed over the years.

The ACT Geology section of the display provides a geological overview of the nation's capital, identifying the various rock types found in the region and geological maps of the region. Aerial photography and satellite images of the development of the ACT are included in A Bird's Eye View.

The display also includes a section on how mapping and surveying techniques have progressed over the last 100 years, and a selection of books that were damaged and salvaged from a fire that occurred in 1953 at another Geoscience Australia predecessor, the Bureau of Mineral Resources.

In addition to these displays, old mapping and surveying films have been digitalised and made accessible via touch screens, with special film showing events planned throughout 2013. These films explore Geoscience Australia's role in studying Earth processes, our role as key Australian Government advisor on all aspects of geoscience and as custodian of the nation's geographic and geological data and knowledge.

The display opens on Tuesday 12 March, and will be open to the public Monday to Friday during business hours until the end of the year.